Our lives are extremely busy and has no dull moments. It has rained every day – or more appropriately it has poured every day lately. I have no official information, but I think we must have accumulated over 10 inches last week alone. Thank goodness they have drainage ditches everywhere to handle the high volume of water – it’s gone in no time. If this much rain had come to Arizona, the state would have been moved to the Ocean in no time.
We were able to catch the first session of conference – though the internet transmission was choppy at times and had to be re-connected on several occasions. We saw it with the Holmes and the Zolls in the mission home. It was most interesting to us to hear of the announcement of another temple for Arizona (Tucson). Also of great interest was the reduction in the minimum age for young men and young women to begin missionary service (reduced from 19 to 18 for young men and from 21 to 19 for young women. As noted by the conference speakers and the press conference, the number of young men and young women serving missions is expected to increase dramatically with this change – from around 58,000 to some unknown number. We were able to catch another session this afternoon at 4pm which was the Sunday morning session. Very good. What a great spirit we felt.
We continue to be excited and amazed with the growth of the church. Almost every week there is a baptism in the branches or wards that we frequent. Rodney is usually called upon to confirm a newly baptized member. Today was no exception when a lady in her 60’s was confirmed during our fast and testimony meeting. Also during the testimony meeting today an elderly man shared his testimony since he will be moving back to the Accra, Ghana area. He told us later that he joined the church in 1997 in Liberia and subsequently moved to Ghana. He said in 2003 when he moved to Ghana he was part of a group near Accra that had only 10 members of the church. He said in the 9 years since he first went there the growth caused the group to become a ward and now, recently a stake was formed in that area – a stake with 3,000 plus members. That gives you an idea of the growth. We will share some similar growth experiences in future letters – inspiring and phenomenal.
Mom and Dad
We have shared below an inspiring story of a faithful African brother who recently began working at the mission home –
(excerpt from Rodney’s journal).
Francis Appiah – Conversion Story (As reported to Rodney D. Palmer – September 30, 2012)
Francis Appiah and Elder Rodney D. Palmer
The African people have a great faith and great love for the Savior and have a certain humility which I believe
accounts for the spiritual experiences the Lord allows them to have as a reward for their childlike faith. Brother
Appiah is one of many I have visited with regarding the spiritual communications (inspiration and dreams, etc.)
that come to them.
Francis Appiah, an African brother in Ghana, started working at the Ghana Kumasi Mission home on
September 28, 2012 as a caretaker of the grounds and also has some responsibilities for care of the mission
home. He is a man that is in his late 50’s and speaks excellent English. While conversing with him he shared
with me his conversion story which is very inspiring.
Brother Appiah joined the church about 18 months ago. He told me that some time before he joined the church
that he developed tumors in his head and neck (he called them boils, but best I can tell he was describing what
I would call a tumor). He indicated that there were 6 tumors total. Medical personnel were not encouraging
regarding prospects for his recovery. He went to his pastor and had him pray for him, but did not feel any uplift
or help from the experience. Shortly thereafter he had a dream and in the dream he saw a sign that was posted
in front of a building. The sign had the name “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” and then the dream
ended. He had a strong impression that this was the true church. His pastor was critical of the Latter-day Saints
and warned him to stay clear of them. He said he still had the impression that this was the true church which he
Brother Appiah, said that two days later his wife had a dream. In the dream there were two young men – one
was a black man and one was a white man – both were in white shirts and had name tags on them. Just as she
got to the part of the dream where the two men were knocking on the door, there was a knock on their door.
They answered the door and standing at their door were the two young men that Sister Appiah saw in her
dream. The missionaries indicated they would like to share a message of the restored gospel with them, but
before they could proceed, Brother Appiah said he wanted to be baptized because he knew they represented
the true church. The missionaries taught them and Brother Appiah and his daughter were baptized at that time
(approximately a year and a half ago). Brother Appiah went on to say that his wife did not join at that time,
but just three weeks ago she was baptized. He and his family are part of the Daban Group, which is part of the
Asokwa Ward and Ghama Kumasi Stake.
Brother Appiah reported that the tumors disappeared and he had no other problems with them since.
At the post office where duty is charged. The postal inspector is going through a box sent to one of the missionaries in our mission. He’s charging duty on peanut butter – all items that were sent. It’s a very long process.
After a Church History Seminar with Pres. & Sis. Holmes (mission president), Palmers, the Zolls (sen. couple), and instructor.
Ester, a member of the Asokwa Ward with her little children. She wants me to teach her how to make banana bread.
Ester’s daughter - her outfit is like what most of the adult women wear – usually with brighter colors. Sewn by a seamstress to fit. A little lady.